HEALTHY WEIGHT, HEALTHY LIVES: A CROSS-GOVERNMENT STRATEGY FOR ENGLAND
England is known to be a global leader for its introduction of both processed and food labelling and broadcast advertising restrictions on food products high in fats, salt and sugar. This essay is to elaborate on the 'Healthy weight, healthy lives' initiative by the government and also to discuss its implications to nursing practice. Since 2000, the government has taken action to promote healthier food choices, and greater access to physical activity, especially among older people and children. Almost two-thirds of adults and a third of children are either obese or overweight (NHS information Centre, 2006). Excess weight is a significant risk factor for diseases such as colon cancer; heart diseases type 2 diabetes mellitus, etc. It affects people mentally, their ability to be alert, stress-free, their self appearance and self esteem. According to research, it costs the NHS more than ÃÂ£5bn each year on managing overweight and obesity and this has wider impact on the economic development (DH, 2011).
At first sight, people feel obesity is easy to solve, but individuals should eat less and exercise more. Recent research makes us to understand what drives individuals choices on food and how physical activity is influenced by modern society, so for this reason, obesity can be the most significant personal and public health challenge facing us today (2011).
In January 2008, the Government published Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: A Cross-Government Strategy for England. This brought out their ambition to be the first major nation to reverse the rise of obesity and overweight in the population, by encouraging everyone to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. They initially want to focus on children: by 2020, they aim to reduce the proportion of obesity and overweight children to 2000 levels (DH, 2008).